The House Republican Caucus meets annually to discuss the most important issues on the minds of South Carolinians, and how each member can prepare for the upcoming session. House Speaker Bobby Harrell led the meeting in Myrtle Beach over the weekend.
“We started the conversation on economic development and how to do something about the high unemployment rate South Carolina is facing right now. We will have an Economic Development Jobs Creation Act of 2010 that will be written as a result of that meeting. We talked about education, particularly K-12 and reading, and helping our schools get back to basics, as I said, particularly with reading. We talked a lot about tort reform,” says Harrell.
After the topics on the agenda were discussed, a hot topic on the minds of many was brought up for debate: Governor Mark Sanford and possible impeachment.
“It was not on the agenda, but what we always do is open the floor for anything else members have on their minds after we talk about the initial agenda items. When we opened the floor for conversation some members brought up their concerns about Governor Sanford and his recent behavior and all of those issues. So, we had probably a 30 to 45 minute conversation,” says Harrell.
Ideas and thoughts were shared in this conversation, but Harrell says nothing was solved- yet.
“We did not come to a conclusion with a definitive action yet, because we agreed we wanted to wait until we get an Ethics Commission report. Right now everything that’s being talked about is being based upon newspaper reports and television reports. We need to have a separate investigative body look at the facts, give us a report based on those facts, and then it would appropriate for the General Assembly to take action,” says Harrell.
As soon as that’s done, Harrell says he expects the General Assembly to move very quickly to deal with the problem.
As it appears, the governor doesn’t have many on his side.
“Nobody spoke in his defense. In fact, one of our members asked if anybody wanted to speak to defend him and nobody spoke up,” says Harrell.
The Ethics Commission report is expected to take four to six weeks from the start of the investigation to come out. Although that will not be the formal report, which will take longer, Harrell says they just need the initial results of the investigation to go further with impeachment options.